Introducing…FeedStitch

This post originally appeared on Pointless Corp.

We’ve often talked about creating a running feed of what the rest of the team is doing across various developer-oriented sites that we use and then inviting others to see that feed as well. What started as some informal discussion was launched into the world in the wee hours of Saturday morning with minimal fanfare. That idea now has a name: FeedStitch.

What is it?

In brief, it’s a simplified feed aggregator that generates feeds that are designed to be shared with others. That’s it. The key to this being a useful tool relies on it being simple with a focus on sharing. While many sites assume that you want to share feed data as a web page, we think the real value is in sharing in other computer-readable formats like RSS and JSON. To see how easy it is to use, let’s step through an example - we’ll create a feed to stalk keep up-to-date with the FeedStitch developers.

Sign In

In the interest of ease-of-use, we opted to go with OpenID as a simple approach for combined sign-in and registration functionality. To get started, just use one of the supported OpenID providers (you do have a GMail account, don’t you?).

Add Sources

Once you’re signed in, you can start adding feeds. Go ahead and enter the URL to the feed or, if the site has an auto-discovery link, the URL of the site itself – the application is smart enough to do the right thing. Don’t want to remember the RSS URLs for Flickr,TwitterGithub or others? Neither do we (and you won't have to).

Get Ready to Share!

Added all your source feeds? Good. Let’s share them as a group.

Before we can impress our friends with our Internet skills, we’ll need to do something about our current URL—you can create a custom URL using Feedstitch.

That was close, now we can …

Share With Friends!

Click the name of your newly-created group to see how it looks. Everything okay? Good. Grab that URL and share it with your friends, enemies, or even your mother-in-law*.

Sharing on the web is really only a small part of the idea – go ahead and grab the RSS feed to plug into your favorite reader, or pull the JSON data onto your site using JSONP through jQuery.

Get To It

Start stitching together a feed of your own!

* Neither the developers of FeedStitch nor its parent company, Pointless Corp, will accept the responsibility for any headaches, unwanted technical support, or awkward discussions about why you haven’t moved closer. Share at your own risk.

Patrick is development director in Viget's Boulder, CO, office. He writes clean Ruby code and automates system infrastructure for clients such as Shure and Volunteers of America.

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